MP Nadine Dorries yesterday insisted she has enjoyed being an independent politician after having the Conservative whip suspended.

Ms Dorries, who spent a total of three weeks in Australia last month after leaving her Mid-Bedfordshire constituency to take part in I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here!, insisted she would be allowed back into the Conservative Party.

However, the outspoken former nurse claimed she was revelling in her new-found freedom.

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She said: "It's quite nice being independent at the moment, actually."

Ms Dorries, a fierce critic of Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne, had a Commons show down with Conservative chief whip Sir George Young last week over her decision to abandon her constituents.

Their talks were "adjourned" and a decision on her future is expected this month.

Westminster has been rife with speculation the maverick MP could quit the party and stand for Ukip at the next General Election.

But yesterday she predicted a return to the Tory fold. She said: "I am quite sure, confident, that I should get the whip back very shortly."

Asked what would happen if Sir George refused to reinstate the whip, she added: "We will cross that bridge when it comes to it."

Ms Dorries faced a barrage of criticism when she flew to Australia.

She joined celebrities including a soap star, a boxer and a footballer's girlfriend filming the ITV reality show.

Ms Dorries chewed on a lamb's testicle and an ostrich's anus in the notorious bushtucker trials, before she was finally evicted from the show in a public vote.